Aching for Apocalypse
The Lifted Brow
...The fire kept coming closer and closer until it was in my father’s street, raging up toward his house. Black Saturday had burned past just years before but we’d been lucky. Now the fragility of that escape was all too apparent. Safety seemed only a temporary interlude, the breath between one fire and the next...
Transition: On Becoming the People We Are
Kill Your Darlings
...daydreaming from the comfort of Melbourne about the lives we might make, a countryside miner's cottage seemed the perfect place for two introspective writers: quiet, peaceful, cheap. The house had felt romantic in its dereliction back in autumn when we bought it for a steal. But within the first week, we discovered that old properties are their own creative projects, requiring constant revision. Weekends, precious writing time, quickly disappeared. To-do lists grew longer the more we worked. As winter descended like influenza, we were studious in our efforts not to give voice to our fears...
...By living here I can afford to work part-time; be with the children; write the novel I'm anxious to write. It was great for a while, the life I made for myself. Tiring, but possible; I only had to make the trip to Melbourne three days a week.
But it's become a nightmare now...
The literary mother load
...In my twenties, several understandings crystallised almost simultaneously. The first was obvious: writing seriously was going to require a massive investment of time, preferably on a daily basis. Probably more time, if I was honest, than my boring job, uncompromising social life, and developing literary skill were allowing. Secondly, I had chosen a partner who was wonderful, but also a writer. We were working together in admin and in hospitality – industries crammed with Arts graduates. I could hear my biological clock ticking like a cooling engine, aware that our circumstances would not stretch to support either one of us at home with kids, if we went down that path...
...Jack was not a bad man. Yet when they emerged from the bush in the borrowed truck, her suitcase and easel roped in the tray, when they crested the ridge and she saw his farm for the first time, she felt fear. The grey-green land seemed to unroll like cotton on a dropped spool. Her eye scanned the valley. She sensed then that land could be a void. It was so quiet. Beyond the rumbling truck there was … nothing...
The Lifted Brow
...That first year I tried hard to say her name then sat silent. Rocks in my mouth. So much styrofoam tea. Cheap chocolate biscuits wept in my hands. I stared and stared at the circle of shoes: other parents’ feet. Couldn’t bare to meet their eyes. When invited to share I shook and shook. Head, hands, everything. At night I woke screaming, saltwater burn up my throat...
Alice Robinson is the author of two novels, both published by Affirm Press. Her debut novel, Anchor Point (2015), was longlisted for the Stella Prize and the Indie Book Awards. The Glad Shout (2019) was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award and The Colin Roderick Literary Award and won the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction.
Alice earned a Bachelor of Creative Arts at The University of Melbourne in 2004 and a PhD in Creative Writing at Victoria University in 2012, where she was awarded the Vice Chancellor's Peak Award for Research and Research Training.
Alice's stories, essays and reviews have been published widely in literary journals, including in Meanjin, Overland, The Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings, The Big Issue Fiction Edition, Fireflies, Arena, The Australian Humanities Review and Australian Book Review.